"Wow, this is great stuff.  If anyone ever asks you "What does a Project Manager do?", direct them to this course." – Leah Henig.

I’ve managed projects now for more than 25 years, from just a few thousand dollars to $55M, and worked in senior roles on PM teams on projects up to $3B.  This course describes the ten most important lessons I've learned that contribute to project management success.  It also includes some real life stories that show what it really takes to manage in challenging environments over a sustained period.  In under two hours, this course will make these lessons learned yours, and give you a 25 year career shortcut. 

  • The Magic Of Accountability.  Your success as a Project Manager starts with understanding how to leverage the incredibly valuable power of accountability, because it gives you the *authority* you need to ensure success.  And properly deployed, it usually means you are the most relaxed person on the project (really).  Includes the magic sentence that will maximize the chances of the organization giving you what you need, along with an example.

  • The Importance Of The WBS.  Why defining the WBS makes everything else in project management easy.  A story of how, as a junior member of a PM team, I once got a very senior, reluctant, and aggressive team to become WBS believers.  A real example of a WBS my team once prepared for a $140M aerospace project.  And a download of the realistic example WBS for the Magical Devices Version 3 project.

  • The Power Of Process.  The fundamental reason best practice process is so powerful, and can help you solve even the hardest problems, with statistical proof of that power.  Why the precedence diagram is your most important PM tool.  A real precedence diagram my team prepared for that $140M aerospace project.  And a download of the realistic example precedence diagram for the Magical Devices Version 3 project.

  • Planning The Risk Budget.  Why risk management is what makes the entire PM life-cycle work.  Essential risk planning tips.  Eight common risks you should always consider including in your risk register.  Why you should actively manage only the top ten risks.  Why you should include budget for risks that appear to only impact time.  And a download of a comprehensive Excel template to help manage your risk register through all phases of your project.

  • Managing The Risk Budget.  Essential tips for managing the risks once underway.  Real life advice for updating the risk status as your project proceeds.  Why the Project Manager should always slow-roll the risk budget reduction.  A rule of thumb for how much risk budget you should have as you proceed.  And the show-stopping sentence that enables you to keep as much risk budget as possible when under pressure to give some up.  

  • Backfitting Scenarios When Needed.  Why project requirements should be derived from higher-level user scenarios.  A story about how backfitting scenarios when I didn’t have them to start with helped ensure the success of my $20M project.  And how scenario based acceptance testing is two-for-one, convincing the customer the project will do what they need, and automatically signing off the requirements at the same time.

  • Make Friends With Procurement.  Why closing is a separate set of activities in project management.  A true, embarrassing, and expensive story about why it is so important to formally close your procurements.  How formal procurement closing prevents additional spending even by mistake.  And why the PM should make friends with all the supporting departments, making your job easier and your project more successful.

  • The Top 3 Drivers Of Project Success.  Why we already know most of the problems and most of the solutions in project management.  A true story about a PM that made all three of the most common project management mistakes on a single project.  And how the three most important drivers of project success could have saved him, and $400K.

  • Focus On The Success Path.  The importance of the success oriented mindset the PM should broadcast to the entire team.  A famous story that illustrates why.  Similar success examples from three other fields.  And a real example of how my team was able to shorten a 3.5 year schedule to 3 years simply because I believed there was a solution before I knew what it was, and how we did it.

  • The Benefits Of Telling The Truth.  A relatively common situation - a time my boss asked me to save an unsaveable project.  How repeatedly telling him the truth, even when he obviously did not want to hear it, ended up being the best thing I could do for the project, my team, and my boss.  And how telling that truth got me promoted to be functional manager of a 55 person organization very early in my career.

Each chapter includes a downloadable PDF of the key points of the lesson.  Understanding these lessons will help you greatly increase the chances of success for your projects, give you a 25 year shortcut, and accelerate your career.  The course will also earn you two Professional Development Units (PDU’s) in the Business Acumen (Leadership) category. 


William Stewart is a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP) who has managed projects for more than 25 years from just a few thousand dollars to $55M, and worked in senior roles on PM teams on projects up to $3B, in the domains of system integration, software, organizational improvement, business process, construction, real estate, research, and others  He has worked for aerospace, government, academia, and founded a software startup.  He has delivered more than 330 live onsite PM courses to more than 3,300 people, and is author of the Deeply Practical Project Management online course and book.  He has deep experience with project management, risk management, negotiation, systems integration, and software engineering.  He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science for development of an algorithm that builds multi-dimensional geodesic domes in optimum space and time.

Student Comments

"This course offers decades of valuable project management experience." - Thibaut Lefebvre 

"Project management comes to life!" - April Bly-Monnen 

"Great information for all PMs both new and old, certified or not.  Great use of time." - Gerald Gentle 

"Full of sound advice from years of experience.  Recommend to any new or experienced PM." - Peter Hungiapuko 

"A great course that shares valuable experience and addresses soft skills.  Loved it." - Carlos Camargo 

"In every lesson there is a golden nugget." - Isaac Leal 

"Actionable, real-world advice for both PMs and people interested in project management." - Alex Hadar 

"Clear, rational, calm and friendly, empowering!" - Peter Courtley 

"Good advice about communicating with executives." - Natalie Tangen 

"Precious lessons learned, 'Tell The Truth' will make a revolution in my business life." - Masaru Kikuchi

"Very helpful, recommend to all PMs at any level." - Matthew Webber 

Course curriculum

    1. Introduction

    2. How To Report PDU's To The PMI

    1. The Foundation of Success - Convincing Reluctant Teams

    2. Key Points

    1. The Power of Process - A $140M Example

    2. Key Points

    1. Practical Advice - Eight Common Risks - Budgeting Tips

    2. Key Points

    1. Management Advice - Defending Your Risk Budget

    2. Key Points

About this course

  • $79.95
  • 22 lessons
  • 2 hours of video content